Consider the Alternative | Letters | Chicago Reader

Consider the Alternative 

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I was in Chicago today and I came across your review of the movie The Corporation ["Unsafe at Any Size," July 23], which I saw in Toronto a few months ago. I take issue with your rewarding it four stars and describing it as being riveting, heavy, and serious; it is basically a propaganda flick. The movie's arguments rely mainly on a litany of corporate greed, stupidity, or malfeasance. Using the same logic, one could make a movie attacking other institutions such as government or education. True, some American corporations were wrong in helping Germany in WW II before America declared war on Germany; well, it was governments around the world, and not corporations, that decided to exterminate entire races and kill tens of millions. Does this somehow imply that the concept of government per se is flawed?

If the movie were serious about examining the role of corporations in our society, it could easily have compared the success of societies in which corporations play major roles (such as the U.S., Canada, Japan, and western Europe) to societies in which private corporations were banned (such as the former USSR, communist eastern Europe, China, North Korea, and Cuba). In terms of standard of living, reduction of pollution, and freedom, our "corporate dominant" societies beat the noncorporate ones to such a large extent that, with the exception of Cuba and North Korea, all of the former noncorporate societies are now embracing the corporate model. The fact that this movie does not even bother depicting the disasters which actual societies without corporations became (as opposed to airing "experts" describing how well they would theoretically work) indicates that it seeks to brainwash and not to educate.

Ishay Friedman

Toronto

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